Turning an analyst into a fan for Virtual Hold Technology
Inviting an industry analyst to a company-wide sales kick-off meeting might seem unusual. But for Virtual Hold Technology, an up-and-coming call-center solutions provider, this strategic tactic was aimed at converting an influencer into an advocate.
Each year, Virtual Hold gathers sales, marketing and technology staff to review the company’s opportunities for growth. In 2010 Padilla recommended that the company bring in an independent industry analyst to provide insight on the call center industry, customer trends and buying behaviors. Rather than choose an analyst who was already a strong advocate for Virtual Hold, Padilla recommended an industry expert who was unfamiliar with the company.
Engaging the analyst in the sales kick-off meeting was educational for both sides because he both presented and observed more ‘internal’ updates from company leadership. He helped staff understand some of the industry trends and how they could leverage these trends during the sales process. The analyst came away with an understanding of Virtual Hold’s technologies and how they benefits customers. He wrote a 1,000-word summary of his experience at the kick-off, detailing a successful customer implementation and the results, both in client satisfaction and financial gains. The article was included in a call-center newsletter sent to more than 53,000 people.
From Virtual Hold’s perspective, the third-party endorsement was priceless.